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Home > Rules & Legislation > Letters from the Commissioner > Informational Letters > Letter 34





TO:        Superintendents of Schools, Principals, and Certification Support System Chairs

FROM:   Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:    October 10, 2006

RE:         "Mentors Training Mentors" Workshops

The Department of Education will host a series of regional "Mentors Training Mentors" during the 2006-2007 school year.  These exciting professional development opportunities for teachers will qualify them to conduct Maine's Mentor Training in their own school districts and surrounding regions.  Participants will learn leadership skills that transfer into many areas of professional practice.  These include: non-evaluative listening and questioning; group presentation and facilitation; conflict resolution; adaptive leadership styles; and many more.

Each workshop is made up of three sessions. The first workshop has been scheduled to include the first two sessions on December 7th and 8th at the Holiday Inn in Waterville, Maine. Participants will select a mutually agreed upon date for the third day of training on December 8th. Participants must be trained, experienced mentors. The workshop will prepare them to co-facilitate Maine’s Mentor Training Workshops. Participation will require attendance on all three dates.

The purposes of this training are to:

  • Build and/or deepen the ability to prepare teacher mentors
  • Enhance the ability to teach the content of the three days of Maine’s Mentor Training and the processes that support that learning
  • Enrich presentation and facilitation skills
  • Qualify individuals to co-facilitate Maine’s Mentor Training in the local district or region
  • Build a common vision and sense of community among Maine’s teacher mentors.

The "Train the Trainer" workshops give districts the opportunity to “grow their own leaders” by using staff expertise, knowledge and experience to create a professional learning community within their schools.  State and national research clearly indicates that high quality, structured, and ongoing support of new teachers in the classroom (formal mentoring) has positive benefits.  Among these are:  increased teacher efficacy, recruitment, and retention; increased veteran teacher professional learning; and increased dialogue among teachers on “best practice”.

This “Train the Trainer” opportunity is just one of several being offered this year in support of upcoming changes in Maine Department of Education Chapter 118, “Support Systems: Standards and Procedures for Operation”.  These changes reflect efforts to transform Maine's current certification support systems to systems that provide induction, mentoring and support for beginning teachers within the context of professional learning communities. Mentoring is at the heart of this transformation.

Please inform your staff of this opportunity. Registration for the first workshop must be received no later than October 30, 2006. There is no cost for the training and lunch and refreshments will be provided.  Early sign up is recommended, as this training is limited to 25 participants. Participants must receive the approval of their supervisor to attend.  This should be noted on the registration form.

We strongly recommend that participating districts send two (2) mentors to be co-trainers. Even if you cannot attend the December training, we strongly suggest that you apply. Other “Mentors Training Mentors” workshops will be held throughout the State during 2006-2007.

If you need additional information before registering, please contact Crystal Polk at or 624-6881, or contact Dan Conley at or 624-6639.  A full description of the workshop and the registration form are available through the link below.  Each individual from your district seeking to participate should complete the form and direct it to Jean Rambo at

A description of the workshop and the registration form are available on the Internet at:

Please consider becoming a leader in this important initiative, and a resource for the districts in your region. 

Thank you.